The elves, being as graceful and in tune with nature as they were, took to the forests of the realm, making it their home. The great forest Manadh Calad, known as the Dark Forest by the non-Elven races, was where the majority of the Elves took up residence. Dark Elves lived along the forest floor, in contrast to their High Elven kin, who resided in great cities moulded from the trees themselves. The Dark Elves built virtually no cities, instead living inside the trunks of hollowed trees, forming small villages inside of these shelters. Whenever they left these settlements, the shaded canopy of Manadh Calad, combined with their darkened skin, ensured protection from the predators of the forest floor.
When the Pact War began, the Elves were the most resentful of the Alliance in joining forces with other races; they, however, had little choice in the matter if they wished for even a chance at survival. While many Elves fought in the war alongside other races, countless of their number were forced to flee and take up shelter inside the human city of Barkamsted; a jarring change after their self-imposed isolation. As a result, many conflicts arose between Elves and other races, especially pronounced during the first few years of the city’s development. The worst of this internal conflict, however, has passed, and there are now many Half-Elves, both High and Dark, living in the city, as well as in Falkvard, both reclaimed for the now-unified Kingdom of Saphriel. There are, however, still many Elven families that refuse to treat any other non-Elf as an equal; discrimination amongst the Elves is still a prominent issue today.
Traditional Dark Elven culture, in stark contrast to their High Elven cousins, places a great deal of emphasis upon conflict, in relationships as well as combat. Many Dark Elves will deliberately insult or provoke one another in strong terms, and though argument and conflict may flare up, it is just as quick to be forgotten; being able to shrug off these attacks is, to Dark Elves, a sign of strength and good character. Furthermore, though all Elves see themselves as Kinos' greatest children, with relations and children with other races seen as an unredeemable sin in the days before the Pact War, the culture of Dark Elves does not emphasise this as greatly as that of High Elves, in part due to being able to reproduce with many races and still give birth to Dark Elves. While quick to look down on certain halfbreeds, if they can prove they are worth a Dark Elf's time, they are often willing to put aside their prejudices.
Dark Elves, in contrast to the High Elves, are shorter in stature, approximately five to six feet tall. Like the High Elves, both genders reach sexual maturity around twenty five years old, and adulthood at approximately thirty years of age. They tend, however, to have a shorter lifespan of approximately two hundred years. Dark Elves are, as implied by their name, dark-skinned, though their skin tone greatly varies, ranging from ashen-grey to completely onyx, depending on which family they belong to. Light grey and white are by far the most common hair colors found in their society, though in rare cases dark hair may also be seen. Unlike the High Elves, who possess greatly varied eye colors, a Dark Elf will always be born with red pupils of seemingly random intensity. Observations so far include maroon, pink, crimson, lava and burgundy, although many other shades of red have been documented. Unlike their cousins, the Dark Elves possess a powerful muscle structure while retaining a smiliarly high degree of agility and flexibility. Though they possess some physical similarities to the High Elves, such as long ears and high metabolism, they are completely incapable of utilizing magic. Instead, their strength and senses are vastly superior to those of a High Elf, along with an additional ability to see clearly in darker areas without the need of light.
Sexual Maturity: 25
Age of Consent: 27
Dark Elven society places emphasis on worship of both Kinos, god of the earth and seas, and Perities, god of the hunt. This largely comes from their background as hunters in the days where they lived upon the floor of Manadh Calad, though worship of Uldir is relatively common due to their culture's emphasis on overcoming conflict and martial ability. Unlike the High Elves, they rarely constructed shrines to Kinos; they would simply give thanks to him when gathering food and the neccessities of life. Much the same was done for Perities, with thanks offered upon successful hunts, and Uldir, with prayers offered in hope of success in battle and conflict.